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Sunday, December 11, 2022

Chinese Lunar New Year Dates for 2023 - Year of the Water Rabbit

春节 2023 / Spring Festival celebrations are coming soon next month in January 2023. The traditional Chinese Lunar New Year Spring Festival has 15 days of celebration. In multiracial and multicultural Singapore, it is allocated 2 days of public holidays. On mainland China, it is an important homecoming event as most people head back to their hometown (家乡)from working in the big main cities or overseas.

The first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year falls on 22 January 2023, which is a Sunday and so the following weekday is allocated a public holiday. Monday itself is also a public holiday and so Tuesday is allocated a public holiday, making it a long holiday weekend of 4 days here in Singapore.  

The eve of Chinese New Year is in itself an eventful day, as it is the final day of "Spring Cleaning", and the final touches are made to prepare the home and office premises to welcome the new year. The dinner on the eve of the new year has special cultural significance in the Chinese festive calendar as it is called the "Reunion Dinner", where once a year all family members are gathered to have a sumptous meal together. 

In Chinese tradition, words withe auspicious meanings are used during this festive period and so many items are embellished with auspicious names in well-wishes. For example, as it is the year of the Rabbit, the Rabbit is embellished with the word "Gold" and so it is the year of the Gold Rabbit. The Jade Rabbit is another cultural symbol with its own mythology story. It is said to reside on the moon making immortality elixirs, and keeps company with Chang-Er who flew to the moon. You will find both Gold Rabbit and Jade Rabbit being used for the coming Chinese Lunar New Year. 

玉兔呈祥
金兔报喜

Although "Gold" is one of the elements of the Five Elements Theory (representing Metal), the word Gold when used for auspicious meanings refers to money and wealth, luxury, grandeur, etc. The actual element accompanying the year of the Rabbit is Water. It is the year of Gui Mao or Water (Yin) Rabbit. The colour represented by Water in the Five Elements Theory is black. Black, although a convenient colour to wear for clothing, is not considered an auspicious colour culturally and so it is used minimally. 

水 (water),木 (wood)

In the 60 Jia Zi sequence used in the Chinese luni-solar calendar, the combination of Gui Mao / Yin Water Rabbit is 40th pair or 60 pairs starting with Jia Zi / Yang Wood Rat. 

Rabbit itself contains the element of Yin Wood. The two elements for the year are Water and Wood.

Tiger Tail Rabbit Head 兔头虎尾

Solar Term for the beginning of the Water Rabbit year is on 4th of February 2023. Up until 4th of February, it is still the Water Tiger year as the changeover date is the Solar Term of Spring Begins / Li Chun (立春). For those born between the Lunar New Year and Spring Begins / Li Chun, they are said to be "Tiger Tail Rabbit Head". In my consultations for Ba Zi Birth Charts, we use the Spring Begins Solar Term for the year pillar. 




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